When all this started — you know what I mean — I mused that the video game industry, reliant as it is on people sitting at home anyway, would fare pretty well. Nexon reported a record-breaking Q1, and NCSoft also looked pretty good, but one publisher leaned hard into helping gamers weather the COVID-19 storm, and it’s now reaping the benefits of those efforts.
As shelter-at-home mandates were propagating through the world in March, My.Games offered fans of its titles bonuses for being “Stay At Home Heroes.” According to Mail.ru’s most recent financial report, that’s resulted in significant gains for the company’s PC and console games, including the following month-over-month increases in users by April 15 (expressed as increases in concurrent/daily active users):
Additionally, new user registrations in Conqueror’s Blade in Europe rose an astounding 267% from February to March, reaching 2.6 million, and 70% for Warface.
It’s not just us guessing that the pandemic and lockdowns affected these numbers. According to the financial statement, the company is well aware of the reason for its recent surge in player numbers:
Since self-isolation gained traction globally, MY.GAMES started to see a positive impact on engagement in terms of DAU and CCU on traditional home platforms: PC and consoles … These trends could carry through Q2, depending on the duration and spread of lockdown policies.
In other positive gaming news for the company, its six-year-old mobile game War Robots had a record 150 million downloads in January, while mobile as a whole accounts for 66% of My.Games’ revenue. The games sector overall accounts for 36% of Mail.ru’s revenue, which rose 14.3% year-over-year from Q1 2019. The only real negative was a downturn in advertising revenue, which the company said was partially offset by the strong performance from the games sector.
Like the rest of us, I’m sure that the people of Mail.Ru and My.Games would like for life to return to normal and aren’t hoping that the global pandemic keeps people home and spending more time in their games forever (I hope they feel that way, at least). But as long as things are the way they are, Mail.ru and My.Games are happy to keep players entertained.